The Best Salespeople Thrive on Rejection

The Best Salespeople Thrive on Rejection

If you ask anyone who’s been in the business for a while they’ll tell you that sales, far more than just an occupation, is a way of life. Part of that lifestyle is not only being able to fall off the proverbial horse and get back on, but to do it consistently day in and day out and do it all the while with a purposeful grin and plan of attack all the more motivated with each tumble. Looking more closely at the most effective and successful salespeople, it’s possible to discern the traits that set them apart from the more easily discouraged in the field and behind the desk trying to hit their own numbers.

The best salespeople simply aren’t blindsided by the reality that is rejection in the sales world. As difficult as it may be to do in the real world they don’t take it overly seriously by letting it rock them to their core nor are they unprepared for the inevitability of ‘no’ when executing the sales process. It’s as much a part of selling as success is and being prepared for all possible outcomes is where the battle is really won.

The Separation of Sales and Self

As is the case with most professional settings, it’s imperative to maintain some emotional distance between yourself and the work you’ve thrown yourself into. Successful salespeople realize that just as rejection is part of the business, those doing the rejecting aren’t speaking directly to them as a person. Being able to realize that these attacks aren’t personal can separate those who’ll last the long haul versus those who’ll burn out before the next quarterly report is due in. Having thick skin may be helpful in most endeavors, but when it comes to selling it is essential.

Create as Much Opportunity as Possible

Another trait of routinely successful salespeople is mitigating the effect of rejection. When you spread your eggs across as many baskets as possible you’re drastically less likely to feel the crushing sensation of defeat when some of them crack. By creating lots of opportunity across many different avenues, great salespeople always have different areas of potential success to focus on and multiple points of support in the eventual presence of failure in one spot or another. If you approach five prospective customers and four of them say no, you may find yourself in a tight spot; if you approach five hundred, however… Having a wide network, advertising on multiple and diverse platforms and strengthening ties with high value contacts all help insulate salespeople from the potential sting of rejection. If your thumbs are stuck in enough pies, you’re definitely going to pull out your fair share of plums when all is said and done.

Be Prepared

Nothing broadcasts ineptness more than a stumbling and incoherent response to a question you never saw coming. In this vein it’s easy to see another habit of great salespeople – doing your due diligence. The average prospect says no four times before they get to yes. Knowing what to say when confronted with rejection only adds oil to your sales-execution machine. Countering commonly used rejections or preempting negative responses with effective, convincing and applicable arguments or explanations can only help increase a salesperson’s success. Having never grappled with rejection or defeat or having no apt response to that rejection, you are denying yourself an array of incredibly effective sales weapons and tactics in your arsenal. When you can successfully navigate and deal with rejection you are deepening your understanding of the salesperson-prospect relationship and the different ways that exist to achieve your goal.

Embrace Success No Matter How Elusive it May Appear

Even when faced with rejection on a daily basis, the best salespeople know how to keep the long-term goals in perspective and their mind focused on the mission. Even Nigerian Princes seem to effectively manage an enormous amount of rejection all the while pressing onward towards a goal from which they apparently cannot be dissuaded. It’s imperative to bear in mind that the job at hand is selling and not being concerned about any individual’s negative response to you or your pitch.

When you know you’ll be successful over a given amount of time you remove the pressure and strain of immediacy and the worry that brings with it. Great salespeople realize that people need what they’re selling. Maybe not every potential customer will be theirs, but by mastering timing, delivery and execution they can create a durable and long lasting vehicle for success that delivers despite the rejection that every good salesperson must learn to thrive on.

About author

Philip Barry
Philip Barry 19 posts

Philip Barry is a featured contributor to After graduating from Fairfield University with a B.A. in French and International Studies he lived in Bordeaux, France for four years before serving with the U.S. Peace Corps in Ethiopia.

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